Every company wants to bring value to the table and become a thought leader within their field of expertise. Unfortunately, stuffing keywords – no matter how relevant – into an article is does not fool search engines into trusting that you truly know what you’re talking about. Content authority is built on real insight, value-added content, and sustained effort, and if done right, will help potential customers find you.
Considering that 82% of customers engage with at least five pieces of content from a company before reaching out to a sales representative, it’s even more important to ensure that the quality of your content reflects the high-quality of your service.
In this blog post, we explore strategies to reach the right people, build those quality backlinks and content ranking, and overall, improve engagement and guide your potential customers through the sales funnel to generate great lead generation.
Step 1: Showcase your knowledge
If you’ve got the knowledge, share it!
B2C or B2B, people do business with those they know and trust. So, translate the knowledge of your thought leader into quality content that will offer credible guidance. As a result, prospects will come to you for advice; which is just where you want them. However, even if your company employs the smartest people in your field, it doesn’t mean they can automatically become an authority figure. Those that succeed are those who know how to market themselves in the right way through content. In short: you need to demonstrate expertise through valuable and focused content. Fortunately, it can be done, if you follow the right steps.
Although a lot of authoritative content tends to come in long article or blog form which sits in your resource centre, multimedia content like videos or webinars are also a great way to engage with your audience. A recent survey found that video was the most preferred form of content among tech B2B purchasers. If your sector is particularly complex, think about putting together a series. Consider a series of articles or an article accompanied by e-books and webinars which build on a certain topic and explore different areas, providing different levels of technical depth depending on the intended reader. This is great considering that 60% of consumers already feel more positive about a company after reading custom content on their website.
A great video example is Moz’s Whiteboard Friday, which is an entertaining and easy-to-digest video every week that covers and breaks down new SEO concepts. Long enough to give you some real insight, but also doesn’t require too much of your time; striking the perfect balance.
Step 2: Listen to your audience
There’s no point investing your time and effort creating content that your audience doesn’t find interesting. So, the most important thing to know before you start producing content is who your audience is, and how you can provide value to them – knowing what your audience wants to hear and when adds significant value. When looking for where you can add value, always ask yourself this question: what problems do my audience actually have to deal with? And then, figure out how to solve these problems in an informative and easily-digestible way. If you’re looking to bring a new lead closer to sale or inspire a customer at the consideration stage of the sales funnel, a deep dive might be better than a quick overview. Especially if you’re a tech B2B company that focuses on a niche area, that’s where you want your expertise and target to remain.
Potential and existing customers are more likely to recognise your brand as an authority if they can gain actual value from your content. From here, you can begin to build what marketers call ‘pillar pages’ or an archive in your resource centre which covers multiple aspects of one or two particular topics. And the content should then do the work for you; true content authority is its own growth engine.
Step 3: Don’t be a follower
Whenever trending topics take over the internet – whether this is a big news story or an event – a typical response we see from many companies is that they need to play their part in the conversation, or they may lose out. But by jumping on a bandwagon and regurgitating the same 600-word articles from a list of oversaturated topics provides content with little to no value. Making sure you focus your content creation efforts on a few topics which your thought-leaders are very knowledgeable about is the best way to continually build stakeholder trust.
So, the next time you see a trending topic, join the conversation by all means, but ensure you have something to say which is useful and moves the debate forward. Presenting your unique take on a timely topic is very valuable, and what helps more is if you can inform your discussion with your own research or data. Conducting your own research and creating content from this – whether it’s an infographic, a webinar or a blog – not only provides relevant information for your readers, but unique insights to the entire industry as a whole. This type of first-hand data will set you out from the crowd and put you in a good position for SEO ranking, giving consumers something they can’t find anywhere else.
Step 4: Have a plan
Like we’ve said before, you can’t go around just posting content whenever you feel like it and hope to sit at the top of Google’s search rankings. Sustained and systematic content flow is key. The only way to build authority is to have a solid content plan in place. This includes knowing your audience, budget and focus topics as well as having an SEO strategy and deciding which tools you’ll need to use to achieve the best results – an editorial calendar is also a great way to stay consistent.
If you want to create content which will help you build authority and generate leads, get in touch with us at: [email protected] to start your plan.